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Portas Pilot

Image of Mary PortasDartford's Town Centre Partnership have been successful in their application for Dartford to become a 'Portas Pilot Town'.

The bid of £79,000 (to be match-funded by Dartford Borough Council) will be used to breathe life into our High Street and enhance its economic conditions by establishing a programme called Dartford My Street and deliver:

  • Twenty £1,000 bursaries to enable entrepreneurs to start up new market stalls on our Thursday, Saturday or Sunday Markets.
  • Six new pop-up market stalls
  • Seed funding to support a six-month Sunday Market pilot which will be boosted by free parking on Sundays.
  • A programme of events that focuses on developing the evening economy of Dartford, bringing new audiences for existing cultural provision and attracting a broader clientele for food and drink outlets.
  • Staging and related equipment to facilitate community activities.
  • Specialist training in the areas of retail marketing and promotion, customer care, merchandising and window dressing.
  • A shop to be used as a social network and also for mentoring and training.
  • Promotion for the Dartford My Street programme including events and sound installations.
  • A permanent cover for a prominent event space in the High Street - enabling events to take place whatever the weather.
  • A new loyalty card scheme and App for Dartford My Street.

 Some quotes in support of the application...

"It would be great if we win the bid, I'm looking forward to providing young entrepreneurs first hand experience of how to run a business." Paul Shaw - Owner of Dartford McDonalds

"This could be fantastic for Dartford, we've improved the Park, tackled crime and attracted inward investment to the town, improving the High Street will be the glue that joins it all together." Bob Heasman - Director of Hedley Dunk Accountants & Lead on Pilot

"Improving the High Street is crucial to our tenants and we're fully committed to implementing a number of the Portas recommendations." Debbie Carey - Manager of Orchards Shopping Centre

"We support Dartford's bid to be a pilot town and I'm looking forward to engaging with residents to deliver 'Dartford My Street'." Gurvinder Sandher - Director of Kent Equality Cohesion Council

"I'm extremely proud of the way our local businesses and the local community have come together to support our bid. The rest is down to Mary and the DCLG." Jeremy Kite, MBE - Leader of Dartford Borough Council & Lead on Pilot

For more information...

To see the YouTube video that accompanied Dartford's bid, click here

For full details of our winning bid, click here

Visit the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills website for more information on the Mary Portas: High Street Review.

Last Updated: 19th February 2014 Print Link